Our working environment is currently saturated with various psychometric profiling tools, both behavioural and personality-based, designed to help people understand themselves and others better.
Simultaneously, organisations are looking for new and innovative ways to gain a competitive edge over others, and are seeing profiling tools as a method to achieve this.
Managers and leaders increasingly believe that investing in self-awareness skills and developing their teams' emotional intelligence is the key to success.
Some profiling tools are simple, others are highly complex. Some require very little input and others involve a long step-by-step process of working through multiple pages of questions. Some profiles are free, others cost hundreds of pounds. To those newer to the profiling game, how are we to make sense of it all?
Here are 5 critical questions to ask when selecting a profiling tool for your organisation. Thinking carefully about these questions will help to ensure you get the most value out of whichever tool you choose, avoiding wasting time and money on the wrong product.
Sometimes it is the most obvious question that we end up forgetting to ask! Profiling for profiling’s sake is pointless. Try to think carefully about what you, your team and your organisation most need and then find a profiling system that supports this.
Most psychometric tools focus on personality, which can be hard to understand, harder to change and can have strong links to identity. This can often cause issues when people think they are being asked to change who they intrinsically are.
Other psychometrics prefer to focus more on behaviours, which are often perceived as being easier to adapt. We are able to flex and change our behaviours according to specific circumstances or needs.
It is important to check that the psychometric profiling tools and the profiles generated provide you with the insight you need to make the changes you desire.
Inaccurate profiles will not only fail to add meaningful value to you, but they may also create conflict. Taking on an inaccurate representation of yourself, or your team, will lead to a poor reflection of who you are and how you actually operate.
Before you profile your whole team, it might be an idea to ask if a member of your team can try a complimentary profile. Receiving a sample like this will enable you to test the accuracy of what you are considering to roll out.
Try-before-you-buy can be a great help and, similar to clothes shopping, will prevent you from leaving with something that doesn’t fit.
The accuracy of most psychometric profiles is governed by how extensive and carefully thought through the algorithm is that lies behind report generation. Accuracy can also be determined by how clear the questions are worded and the instructions that are provided prior to completing an assessment. It is worth checking that this process is robust and that the company you are considering buying from has solid credentials in this area.
You may pay a little more for accurate profiling, but it's certainly worth it. That said, don’t assume the most expensive profiles are the most accurate. Look for companies with a proven track record and robust research methodology.
It is easy to get overwhelmed by a long, comprehensive document and get to the end of it being none the wiser.
Remember that simple doesn't mean it lacks value. Quite the opposite, in fact. A simple, easy to understand report can hold incredible value in its application.
Try to get your hands on a sample profile before you buy and make sure it is simple, clear, easy to read and jargon-free. Many reports are presented as written pages, which provide a great deal of information but often little insight.
Are you a visual learner? Then ensure you use a profiling system that presents data in a visual way. If your profile is simple, it is far more likely to be memorable.
Many profiling companies will claim their system is ‘sticky’, in other words, it is memorable and easy to implement across teams. Make sure you test the profile to see if this is true, and memorable, with your team.
Memorability is crucial as it enables a profile report to become a living, breathing tool rather than a once-read report on a staff training day.
Look for a profile that is flexible. This will ensure the reports can be used in a range of ways and the maximum value is added to yourself and your team.
Ask yourself if the profiling tool is relational? Does it help you understand yourself and others better so that you can communicate with them in a more life-giving way?
Is the profiling tool you are using focused on application? Does it help you to answer the all-important “so what” questions? If your report doesn’t help you in a tangible way on a Monday morning, it could be a sign that it lacks applicable, transformative power.
What other organisations are using the profiling tool? Does the tool have a good reputation? Maybe check out the testimonials on a website. Many people advise asking for recommendations from trusted connections, to understand their view on the usefulness of the tools they have used.
Make sure you are clear on the process of how profiles are generated. How much time will it take? How quickly are the reports produced? How does the company store personal information?
Ask what support surrounds the profiling. Does the company provide training for you to get the most from your reports? Do people enjoy working with the company? Do they have friendly staff, are they prepared to go out of their way to help you?
You can quickly tell the difference between the companies that really care about your growth and those that see it as a numbers game and want to sell you a slick sales presentation.
Companies with quality values are likely to produce quality profiles.
Profiling can be a fantastic tool and when chosen carefully, it can add great value to your team. It is important to do your homework and not rush your choice. Once you find a tool that works for you, it is likely to be something you can return to often and scale throughout your organisation.
If you would like to find out more about how C-me Colour Profiling could support you, get in touch with our team and we will be only too pleased to help you.